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YouTube Commentary Channels: The Epitome of Gen Z’s Social Culture

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It’s a well-known fact that we as humans love to share our opinions online…maybe a little too much. While there are certainly some dubious “information”-sharing users and sources out on the Wide World Web. There are also many hubs with thoughtful compilations of opinions that have risen in popularity over the past few years. Commentary YouTube is my personal favourite place on the internet to find hilarious reviews and insightful analyses on nearly every topic imaginable. When I feel like unwinding while still being somewhat educated, I click to Kurtis Conner laughing at The Country Boys of TikTok or Tiffany Ferg’s slightly more intellectual discussions about generational culture trends.

For those who are new to the diverse world of commentary channels on YouTube, the basic idea of these videos can be summed up like this: creator is exposed to some type of content or idea such as (but not limited to) a social issue, a dumb movie or a popular trend. The creator takes the time to examine the bits and pieces of this topic. Creator formulates a stance on the topic backed up with arguments. Creator films their scripted (or not) reaction and puts it on the web. This is only a generalized summary of commentary videos. Some creators do plan out their content much more than others, usually when they’re speaking about a topic more in-depth or one that needs to be addressed in a certain way. Sometimes videos are twenty minutes, sometimes they’re movie-length and just as splendidly dramatic as one. What’s especially notable about the commentary genre is that it’s not tied down to any particular subject, letting it stand out among other YouTube content. Overall, commentary channels follow the same format, and their success is evident through their immense rise to popularity over the last few years.

I adore commentary videos. Many of my closest friends and I can talk for days about our favourite creators and topics, and their appeal also draws many other people our age. Gen Z is a generation marked by everything social: social media, social trends, social issues, social change. With most commentary channels centering their content on a mix of these four categories, it’s no surprise their following mostly consists of young people. It’s not just the viewers that belong to Gen Z, it’s many creators as well. They seem to understand just what kind of extensive cultural education and entertainment this generation desires.

YouTubers in the commentary genre have a talent for sucking you in with their wit and their broad knowledge of pop culture and amiable comments. This all creates the sensation that you’re simply having a lovely conversation with your own friend. Many fans of commentary channels also find themselves permanently impacted after being immersed in a creator’s perspective, especially ones that are meant to be thought-provoking analyses. Paige, a nineteen-year-old student at Carleton, tells Her Campus, “Videos from channels like Contra Points and Philosophy Tube have genuinely changed the way I see the world and even the way I see myself”. With these profound changes in frames of mind, viewers can also find insightful communities of fellow Gen Z’ers even in the comments of the videos, mirroring their own feelings on the topic. Important discussions about society and social issues often develop from these commentary videos. People who watch and comment on them indeed add meaning, new thoughts and further analyses to the ongoing conversation.

What I admire the most about Gen Z is our passion to learn and to use this tool for social change. I see it happening all throughout social media, but personally, I most clearly notice this hub of energy concentrated around commentary YouTube: a community of sharp and unique individuals seeking to do their best and leave a good impact on the world. So, if that sounds good to you, I advise you to check it out.

List of channels mentioned:
Kurtis Conner
Tiffany Ferg
Contrapoints
Philosophy Tube

Natasha Shantz

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Hi! My name's Natasha and I'm a writer for Her Campus Laurier. Writing had been a home for me since I was in elementary school, typing up fantasy and fairytale novels. I like to write about a broad variety of topics, such as self-improvement, social issues, literature and pop culture. When I'm not writing or studying, you can find me dancing to music in my room, sipping coffee in a cafe, or reading a book.
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